What Are Different Variants of Coronavirus?

Last Updated by Deepanshu 07-Jul-2021

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We all know how dangerous the coronavirus is. In our previous blogs, we talked about the common myths regarding coronavirus and how to protect yourself from coronavirus. But like any other virus coronavirus also mutate over time. Most of the time these mutations have very little to no effects on people, but some mutations are more dangerous than others and can cause serious illness to the patients. So today we are going to discuss the different variants of coronavirus.
World Health Organization(WHO) has divided coronavirus varients into two major categories.
1. Variants of Concern
2. Variants of Interest

Variants of Concern

These are the variants that have serious effects on the infected person. As per WHO guidelines to be classified as variants of concern(VOC) it needs to meet requirements such as.
● High transmission rate or highly contagious.
● Change in symptoms of the virus.
● Serious illness and high mortality rate

Top variants of concern are:


Alpha variant was first discovered in United Kingdon in September 2020. It was considered highly contagious and has a 70%-80% more transmission rate than the first strain of the virus. The main symptoms of Alpha variant as researched by Imperial College of London are muscle pain, headache, loss of appetite and cold. Alpha variant is considered as the highly spread virus in Europe till this date.


Beta variant was first discovered in South Africa in May 2020. Beta variant similarly had high transmission rate as Alpha variant. It spread faster among young people with no previous health conditions. Beta variant had a high mortality rate and caused serious illness to infected people.


Gamma variant was first discovered in Brazil in November 2020. It has a high transmission rate and one infected person can transmit it upto 6 people. Gamma variant causes serious illness in patients and a high mortality rate. Common symptoms for Gamma variant are fever, tiredness and cough.


Delta variant was first discovered in India in October 2020. It has a high infection rate and one infected person can spread it up to 8 people. Delta variant is considered as one of the most dangerous coronaviruses variant. Delta variant has symptoms like fever, headache, sore throat and cough. Delta variant was responsible for 2nd wave of coronavirus in India, where more than 300000 people lost their lives and cause a state of emergency in the world.

Variants of Interest

These are the variants that have less serious effects on the infected people. As per WHO guidelines to be qualified as variants of interest mutation needs to meet these standards.
● Variant needs to be the cause o transmission in multiple countries.
● Variant should have been identified by WHO as coronavirus.

WHO LabelPango LineageWhere and When
EPSILONB.1.427USA, March 2020
ZETAP.2Brazil, April 2020
ETAB.1.525Multiple Countries, Dec 2020
THETAP.3Philippines, Jan 2021
IOTAB.1.526USA, November 2020
KAPPAB.1.617.1India, October 2020
LAMBDAC.37Peru, Dec 2020

We hope you got a better understanding of the different variants of coronavirus. If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to let us know in the comment box below. Subscribe to our free newsletter and stay updated about our latest blogs.

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